Author: David Abare
Title: The Swing Over the Ocean
Genre(s): Literature and fiction
Review: This novel was such a refreshing read. Although the genre listed is literature and fiction, I would also add that this fits into the drama and thriller genres as well. I have yet to come across a novel, written by a man, that describes sexual intimacy, as well as other topics that are difficult to write about, with such elegance, tact, and thoughtfulness. The way David describes the scenes between Stephen Alexander and his love affair jumps off the page as relatable and realistic. There have been many occasions when I have read a novel with erotic or sex scenes that are just bizarre or unrealistic, so it was comforting to read from an author who writes for his audience. I also enjoyed how he portrayed the female character who Stephen has an affair with because she came across as most women would in her situation. I found myself rooting for her and for Stephen to wake up from his 'bad-boy' stupor and realize how his actions are impacting those around him. When I read contemporary fiction, I most enjoy being able to connect with the characters as if they were a part of my own life. David did an excellent job at creating characters that were easy to root for and that I wanted to follow along on their journey. There were other scenes throughout the novel, specifically regarding children, that were so well written especially given that the situations were incredibly sensitive and hard to think about. David made it clear what was happening without writing vulgar scenes and I think it takes a lot of thought and effort to do that. Additionally, each character had a significant role in the plot, which made reading more enticing. Sometimes supporting characters can get lost in the wash or are found to be insignificant, but it appears that David makes a point to develop each character with an aim to further the overarching story. The only thing that knocked this novel down to 4.5 stars was chapter transitioning. There were times (especially in the beginning) when I was not sure whose story I was reading sine there were multiple key players. It took a few paragraphs before it became clear who the chapter was about. I think this could have been averted with the character name at each chapter especially since it was from their point of view. Other than that, this novel was a joy to read even though there were heart wrenching situations encountered. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a thoughtful novel that entails drama, intrigue, mystery, and growth.
Book Description: ""A man saves a little girl, and as his world changes overnight, he hopes he can save himself." Stephen Alexander shouldn't have been there that day. He lives in her apartment yet spent the afternoon at the motel with another. Hours later he hears a girl scream, bravely intervenes, and then his world goes dark. Now millions want to know who he is-thinking he's one man-while he's sure he's another. The Swing Over the Ocean is a story about love amidst dysfunction, fear, and coming to understand what it means to forgive. It's also a story about the bravery in the willingness to change, despite the comfort in remaining the same. The Swing Over the Ocean begins as a crime thriller, yet resolves as an exploration of a man's past, as well as his soul."
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